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Hornberger's Blog is a daily libertarian blog written by Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of FFF.
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Partnering with the Communists

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Given the U.S. government’s longtime military and financial support for dictatorships around the world, including Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and its historical support of military dictatorships in Latin America, I suppose it’s not too surprising that the Pentagon is now trying its best to enter into a partnership with a communist regime. What is shocking to me, however, is the particular communist regime that the Pentagon is now trying to partner with. It’s the communist regime of Vietnam. Yes, the communist regime that killed some 58,000 American soldiers during the Vietnam War.

What’s the reason for Pentagon’s wish to partner with a communist regime that killed all those American men? Its purpose is to provoke confrontation with a much bigger communist regime — China, the regime that, in fact, loaned the U.S. government the money to fund its wars on Iraq and Afghanistan.

With the end of the U.S. occupation in Iraq and the impending end of the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan, it is vitally necessary for the entire national security state to show how essential it is to the national security of the United States. What better way to do that than to provoke crises in different parts of the world?

That’s in fact what the recent expansion of U.S. military operations in Latin America is all about, especially those relating to the U.S. government’s decades-long drug war. The more crises there are, the easier it is for the U.S. military-industrial complex and the CIA to argue how essential they are to “national security.”

The Pentagon’s hoped-for partnership with the communist regime in Vietnam was manifested by a recent visit to the country by U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. According to the Associated Press, Panetta said that the U.S. government would “work with our partners like Vietnam to be able to use harbors like this as we move our ships from our ports on the West Coast towards our stations here in the Pacific.”

The article continued, “His visit here, however, is likely to irritate Chinese leaders who are unhappy with any U.S. buildup in the region and view it as a possible threat. Panetta, in remarks Saturday to a defense conference in Singapore, rejected such claims. But U.S. officials are clearly wary of China’s increased military buildup and expanding trade relations with other countries in the region.”

It all really goes to show, once again, the utter moral bankruptcy of U.S. foreign policy and the entire U.S. national-security state, which, don’t forget, was established to protect America from the communist threat. The national security state will partner with anyone, including communists, terrorists, and military dictators, to advance the interests of the vast overseas U.S. military empire.

Of course, a statist would say, “But hasn’t there been a normalization of relations between Vietnam and the United States? Didn’t the Vietnam War end decades ago? What’s wrong with entering into a partnership with the communists?”

Such questions only go to show the world of difference between statists and libertarians, especially when it comes to issues of morality.

To statists, a friendly relationship between the United States and Vietnam means a government-to-government partnership, especially one of a military nature. That’s what Panetta’s visit to Vietnam is all about. The first step is the U.S. military’s use of Vietnam’s naval bases. But don’t be surprised if that leads to U.S. foreign aid to the communist regime as well as the Pentagon’s training of Vietnam’s communist military forces, much as the U.S. military supports, trains, and works with the military forces of such dictatorships as Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia.

For the libertarian, a normalization of relations between Vietnam and the United States means liberating the American private sector to travel to Vietnam and freely trade with the Vietnamese people — that is, without being punished by the U.S. government for doing so. To the libertarian, who subscribes to sound moral principles, it does not mean military partnerships or alliances between the U.S. government and foreign dictatorships.

Indeed, while the Pentagon attempts to partner with Vietnam’s communist government, libertarians see free trade and freedom of travel for the American people as a way to weaken or even bring down the Vietnamese communist dictatorship.

Keeping the U.S. national-security state in existence will only guarantee the continuation of crisis, chaos, war, discord, ever-increasing infringements on freedom, economic depression, and financial bankruptcy.

It’s time for the American people to do what they should have done in 1989, when the Cold War came to an end. It’s time for Americans to dismantle the national security state and the military empire and restore a limited-government republic to our land. It’s the only way to restore a healthy, peaceful, harmonious, prosperous, and free society to our land.

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Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.